JOSH CHAFETZ says that the Kerry Campaign is sending out an “incredibly dishonest” email. “I’m not sure whether this is malice or incompetence on the part of the Kerry Campaign — and I suspect the answer is incompetence — but it doesn’t bode well for them either way.”
UPDATE: A couple of readers think that the real unfairness is in the Bush campaign’s use of a couple of fringe elements to suggest that the Democratic mainstream is comparing Bush to Hitler. The trouble with this argument, though, is that the Democratic mainstream is making such comparisons. Just ask Al Gore, or Guido Calabresi. . . .
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Jared Walczak emails:
You wrote that some of your readers objected to the Bush campaign’s association of liberal fringe elements with the Kerry campaign re the Hitler ads. However, as an email from the Bush campaign today notes, there is a connection: Zack Exley, the man behind MoveOn.org, is now employed by the Kerry campaign as the director of internet operations.
Good point. Meanwhile reader Richard McEnroe emails:
Actually, doesn’t Kerry still have a link to DU on his campaign homepage? How long do we have to maintain the polite fiction that the Democratic Fringe is not driving party policy when MacAuliffe and Pelosi show up for the premier of F911? :-\
There’s a link on the blog page. I don’t know how much you ought to make of that. I certainly link to people with whom I disagree in my blogroll. But does Kerry? It doesn’t look like it, which suggests that the folks he links aren’t just there as a resource or a guide to various opinions, but are sites he endorses.
It’s certainly true that the ideas of the lunatic fringe have been showing up in the mainstream of the Democratic Party. Personally, I think this is a mistake in terms of the campaign — and that it will seriously bite them on the ass if Kerry should get elected.
ANOTHER UPDATE: More here. And I’m told that the Bush people have updated their ad with more context, but I haven’t seen it yet. And don’t miss this response from the Bush blog: “Why has John Kerry not denounced billionaire and Democrat Party donor George Soros for comparing the Bush Administration to Nazis?”
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Just watched it. It’s even more damning, and the Democratic complaints will just ensure that everyone watches it. Rope-a-dope?
MORE: A reader reminds me of this from January: “SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER CRITICIZES MOVEON.ORG FOR POSTING AD COMPARING BUSH TO HITLER:”
“Politics and preparing for a presidential election is one thing, but comparing the Bush Administration’s fight against Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein with the policies of Adolf Hitler is shameful, beyond the pale and has no place in the legitimate discourse of American politics,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the Center’s founder and dean. “Adolf Hitler was responsible for the greatest crime in the history of mankind – the Holocaust. To compare Hitler to an American President is not only ludicrous, but defames the Holocaust,” he added.
“This ad is not about Democrats or Republicans – it is about lies and a distortion of history,” he said. “Move On.org has a responsibility to publicly repudiate such lies as do all political leaders,” he concluded.
This would seem to reflect poorly on the Kerry campaign’s hiring decisions.
STILL MORE: Jay Reding: “It’s incredibly effective, which is why the Kerry team is already complaining about it. . . . I hope the Bush team makes a national air buy with this ad.”
Tim Graham: “The chairman of the DNC is happily mugging at Moore’s DC premiere and applauding his movie as a campaign tool. Kerry has hired people away from MoveOn.org for his campaign. He has distanced himself from neither group, nor from Gore’s MoveOn-sponsored ‘digital brownshirt’ ravings. Meanwhile, Democrats quickly tied Bush I to his base of Buchanan and Robertson, who they thought were wild-eyed ideologues of hate. In every cycle, the media highlight the conservative base of the GOP and how the nominee will suffer from the ‘hard right’ associations. Now, Kerry and Terry have to embrace every Moore fan and MoveOn bake-saler to keep some Naderites in their camp, and it’s not fair to point out the ‘hard left’ base?”